When it comes to our professions and work in general, we need to be as productive as possible in order to thrive and flourish. Getting outcomes involves getting things done, but while we’re in this frame of mind, we often sacrifice breaks to make more time.
While this may produce results in the short term, it might eventually lead to burnout and a feeling of mental exhaustion. Because we haven’t taken the time to switch off and take a rest, our productivity will eventually suffer.
Tiredness and exhaustion are the results of our bodies not getting enough time to repair energy, and adding skipped meals to the mix means you’re operating on fumes, lacking the nutrients and energy you need to be the productive person you want to be. Many of us are caught in a terrible loop.
1. Why Don’t We Take Enough Breaks?
It’s a catch 22 that we skip our breaks in order to be more productive yet the more we do this the less productive we actually become. So why do we do it?
It’s common to feel as if we have more work than time to finish it. Constant emails and meetings mean that when we get to work in the morning, time can easily slip away into the mid-and late afternoon. Despite this, you feel as if you never finish anything because there are always more emails and meetings to attend the next day.
Afraid of what others think of you.
Even if your boss isn’t particularly demanding, you don’t want to appear to be shirking your responsibilities by taking too many breaks. It’s even worse if you work in an open-plan workplace where everyone can see everything you do.
When you take your third 10-minute break of the day and feel like your coworkers or managers are evaluating you, you may start to feel nervous.
You don’t think breaks are necessary.
Breaks are inconvenient for many people, who believe that sitting down and relaxing for 10 minutes is a waste of time.
When you know you have a lot of work to accomplish, it can be difficult to enjoy yourself. As a result, many people neglect to take that much-needed vacation.
You don’t know how to take a break.
Many workplaces encourage employees to take breaks away from their computers, but if this isn’t the case at your place of business, sitting at your desk can lead to scrolling through your Facebook or Instagram feeds.
While this may appear to be a break, it does not truly relax or provide your mind with the mentally constructive rest it requires.
2. What Actually Happens If We Don’t Take Those Needed Breaks?
Working on a task for long periods of time without taking a break has been found to lower overall performance. Taking regular breaks, on the other hand, improves performance on the activity at hand.
It’s fantastic to get into a flow when working, but it doesn’t continue forever. We get bored as humans, which usually leads to procrastination.
Because our brains aren’t built to focus for long amounts of time, taking a break is more useful and helps us get back on track when boredom sets in. To stay focused, we must “deactivate and reactivate” our goals.
Attention span is shortened.
An adult’s average attention span is between 15 and 40 minutes. If you don’t take any breaks, this will drop much further. To put it another way, we end up operating on fumes in terms of cognitive function, which may be remedied by giving our brain a rest.
Fatigue and burnout.
Burnout is frequently the last thing to happen, but it is the result of a collective habit of not pausing to take a break. Tiredness and weariness are frequently the first signs that our bodies are being overworked.
This can cause the task to take longer to complete or cause the person to become ill, resulting in the task not being finished at all.
3. Take Breaks to Increase Your Productivity and Wellbeing
Track and limit the time you spend on tasks.
Do you have any idea how much time you waste on daily tasks? According to research, only about 17% of people are aware of how much time passes when they are working on a task.
Keep track of how much time you spend so you can have a better idea of what a productive schedule looks like and when you should take breaks.
Shift your mindset.
Our largest roadblock is frequently refusing to realize that breaks are for our advantage. Begin to see breaks as a necessity rather than a stumbling block.
Never skip meals.
Scheduling lunchtime meetings or using your lunch hour to keep up with rising work may greatly reduce your productivity.
Skipping meals or hurrying through them will only affect your health and productivity in the long run. Use this time to unwind and think about topics other than work, since this will help to recharge your brain while also nourishing it.
Throw away excuses.
I don’t have enough time’ may have crossed your thoughts a few times, but excuses must go. To clean your mind, make a list of everything you need to get done for the day, but don’t forget to include breaks in this list because they’re just as vital. This will assist in expediting the completion of tasks.
Rejuvenating yourself might be as simple as taking a break from your work or taking asleep. However, according to a study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, including exercise in your workday can help you be more productive.
Join a gym near your workplace, go for a lunchtime run, or take a simple walk to re-energize your brain and get it ready to handle work.
4. Just Take That Break!
Attempt not to persuade yourself that working for long periods of time is the most productive method. Our brain isn’t built to concentrate for lengthy amounts of time, and it needs time to shut off in order to function at its best, according to a study.
One study discovered the secret to the most productive routine: working for 52 minutes and then taking a 17-minute break. This resulted in the most efficient workflow for maximum efficiency.
So get rid of the excuses, don’t work through lunch, take time to eat and recharge, and maybe even go for a run. Whatever you’re doing, make sure to schedule a time to reset your brain and watch your productivity levels soar!
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